Does eating eating ice cream make you go ouch instead of mmmmm. If so, you likely have sensitive teeth and you’re not alone. An estimated 45 million adults are affected with sensitive teeth.
This problem often happens when gums recede and/or cementum is not present. The gum tissue acts like a protective blanket to cover the roots of the teeth. As the gums recede the underlying tooth roots are exposed and not covered by hard enamel. Thousands of tiny dental tubules (channels) leading to the tooth’s nerve center or pulp are then exposed. The exposed tubules then allow more stimuli like hot, cold and pressure to reach the nerve which causes you your tooth to zing. Think of the gums and enamel as a down comforter covering and protecting your body from the cold winter air.
Tooth sensitivity is caused by:
- Brushing to hard
- Age, sensitivity is highest between the ages of 25 and 30
- Poor oral hygiene
- Cracked teeth
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Enamel erosion by acidic foods
- Dehydration from diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine
- Receding gums and/or gum disease
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity talk to Dr. Emery or Laney at your next visit. They will work with you to provide appropriate treatment plans and products to help your teeth feel healthy and strong and to make certain ice cream always makes you go mmmmm!